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Tag:Jays
Posted on: November 11, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Closer look at all 30 closing situations



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 and Matt Snyder

It appears the first domino in closer market has fallen (at least, we're pretty sure this time), but that leaves Heath Bell and Ryan Madson as the top relievers still available. But who needs a closer? Here's a look at the closing situation for all 30 teams.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gregg is still under contract -- much to the chagrin of new general manager Dan Duquette's chagrin. Gregg will make $5.8 million in 2012, not exactly ideal for a guy with a WHIP of 1.642 last season and an ERA of 4.37 while picking up 22 saves. Jim Johnson recorded nine saves and threw just 91 innings, but doesn't exactly miss a ton of bats. The Orioles could move Johnson to the rotation.
Possibilities: Gregg, Johnson, Bell, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton.

Red Sox: Well, obviously Papelbon is gone. Papelbon was the Red Sox closer for the last six years, recording the final out of the 2007 World Series among other memories. Still, As untouchable as he was in his first four years as the closer (1.74 ERA and 0.917 WHIP from 2006-2009), he had a 3.43 ERA and 1.104 WHIP over the last two seasons. Daniel Bard is unhittable at times, but struggled in the last two months of the season (which certainly wasn't uncommon among Red Sox), posting a 6.95 ERA in 21 games in August and September.
Possibilities: Bard, Madson, Bell.

New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera. Enough said.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays let the Yankees overpay for Rafael Soriano and then picked up Kyle Farnsworth off the discard pile, signing him to a two-year, $6 million deal. In retrospect, it was genius -- Farnsworth had 25 saves with a 2.18 ERA in 2011 and the Rays will keep him another year and let someone else overpay him for 2013.

Toronto Blue Jays: Frank Francisco was the team's closer for much of 2011, but he's a free agent and the team could be looking to spend some money on a  closer.
Possibilities: Madson, Bell, Cordero, Rodriguez, Casey Janssen.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: Right-hander Sergio Santos converted 30 of 36 save opportunities, liming batters to just a .181/.282/.314 slash line and he should be in line to keep his job in 2012. If he falters, Addison Reed has a chance to take over.

Cleveland Indians: Chris Perez is on solid ground as the team's closer, picking up 35 saves in 2011.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers picked up the $9 million option on Jose Valverde.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals picked up the $6 million option on Joakim Soria and have options for 2013 and 2014.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins declined their $12.5 million option on incumbent Joe Nathan, but have expressed interest in bringing him back. Although his overall numbers -- 4.84 ERA, 1.164 WHIP, 14 saves -- weren't too impressive, he did convert all 11 of his saves in the second half of the season. Left-hander Glen Perkins had two saves in 2011 and struck out 65 batters in 61 2/3 innings. If the team doesn't sign a free agent -- or trade for someone -- Perkins would have the best shot.
Possibilities: Nathan, Perkins, Jon Rauch, Broxton.

AL West

Los Angeles Angels: Jordan Walden recorded 32 saves as a rookie and made the All-Star team. He did blow 10 saves last season, so it wouldn't be a complete shock if the team looked for an upgrade, but it's not expected, especially with tight purse strings this winter. The team could bring in a veteran for cheap that could close if Walden falters.
Possibilities: Walden, Scott Downs, Broxton, Rauch.

Oakland Athletics: Andrew Bailey is the team's closer, but a trade is always possible with Oakland.

Seattle Mariners: Brandon League had 37 saves and a 2.79 ERA in 2011.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers could be a wild card in the free agent closer market if they decided to move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. The Rangers tried that last spring but decided to keep Feliz in the bullpen. If they bring in a big-name, that would mean they believe Feliz can make the move. If not, there's still a chance of Mike Adams taking over for Feliz. Or they could bring in a low-cost veteran to have in reserve in case Feliz does work in the rotation.
Possibilities: Mike Adams, Madson, Cordero, Rauch, Broxton.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: Craig Kimbrel. Period. 

Miami Marlins: While the artist formerly known as Leo Nunez gets his name issue sorted out, the Marlins have a gaping hole at closer. The current members of their bullpen combined for four saves last season. Do the Marlins try to go with an internal option like Edward Mujica or make a splash on the free agent market (as they've been connected to several huge names already)? 
Possibilities: Nunez, Mujica, Madson, Cordero, Rodriguez, Bell.

New York Mets: If they stay internally, which is entirely possible, it looks like Bobby Parnell. But he wasn't awesome by any stretch when given save chances last season. The Mets have spent big on a free agent closer before (K-Rod), so would they be gunshy in doing so again? It's possible. But it's also possible they try to land someone like Ryan Madson. 
Possibilities: Parnell, Madson, Bell.

Philadelphia Phillies: Papelbon. 

Washington Nationals: Drew Storen closed 43 of 48 games in 2011, his first full season in the majors. One would think that would be enough to earn him at least another year on the job, but Storen's name keeps popping up in trade rumors and the Nationals have been reportedly interested in Madson. The Nats have plenty of money, so if they wanted to ink a big-name closer and deal Storen as part of a package for a center fielder (Denard Span, perhaps?), they would be able to do so. 
Possibilities: Storen, Madson, Bell, Cordero.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: It's probably going to be Carlos Marmol again, but he better get himself in gear. Not only did he blow 10 saves, but his once-astronomical strikeout rate lowered a bit in 2011 and control continues to be a serious problem. With new brass at the helm, 2011 will likely be his last chance to get things fixed. 

Cincinnati Reds: Cordero had a great four-year run with the Reds, amassing 150 saves with a 2.96 ERA, but he's a free agent now. Fireballer Aroldis Chapman is ticketed for the starting rotation and Nick Masset seems to be awfully inconsistent. The Reds don't have the money to spend in free agency, so would they make a trade for, say, Huston Street or Andrew Bailey? Seems unlikely. Either Chapman doesn't make it as a starter and sticks as closer or someone internally (23-year-old Brad Boxberger?) gets a shot. This one is totally up in the air. 
Possibilities: Cordero, Chapman, Boxberger, Bailey, Street, Broxton.

Houston Astros: Mark Melancon saved 20 games with a 2.78 ERA last season. There are far bigger problems with this team to believe they'll try hard to make a change here.

Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford and his award-winning 'stache.  

Pittsburgh Pirates: All-Star Joel Hanrahan nailed down the job last season. 

St. Louis Cardinals: Jason Motte was never officially named closer by the stubborn Tony La Russa, but he did more than enough down the stretch and in the playoffs to earn the job for 2012, closing nine of 10 saves during the Cardinals' late run and five more in the postseason. 

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: It will again be J.J. Putz with David Hernandez filling in if (when?) Putz falls injured.

Colorado Rockies: Street is reportedly on the trading block. If he's is dealt, look for Rafael Betancourt to take over. He collected eight saves with a 2.89 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning in 2011. 

Los Angeles Dodgers: Rookie Javy Guerra came on to save 21 games in 23 chances with a 2.31 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings in 2011. That's enough to have nailed down the job for the 2011 season, one would think. 

San Diego Padres: Bell is a free agent, but the Padres may just offer him arbitration, and he actually might accept it. If he does stay, the choice is obvious. If Bell leaves, there's a decent internal option in Chad Qualls. Qualls, 33, has 51 career saves. As far as free agency, if the Padres want to pay for a closer, they'll be paying for Bell. 
Possibilities: Bell, Qualls.

San Francisco: The Beard. 

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: January 22, 2011 9:47 am
 

Guerrero bound for Baltimore?

Vladimir Guerrero Could Vladimir Guerrero be close to joining the Orioles?

That's what former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden tweets . Bowden, now working for Sirius XM, says Guerrero is "getting close to accepting humbling deal w O's."

The Baltimore Sun 's Dan Connolly is all for it , writing the Orioles are now in a position to go get Guerrero for $5-$6 million, as the music has come close to stopping on the designate hitter version of musical chairs.

The Rays reportedly landed two DHs on Friday, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, while the Jays added offense in Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli.

The likely suitors appear to be down to the Angels, Rangers and Orioles. The Rangers didn't pick up his option, while the Angles didn't re-sign him after 2009.

Connolly notes the Orioles could move Luke Scott to left field, which would make Felix Pie the fourth outfielder and send Nolan Reimold to Triple-A, something the team could consider anyway.

UPDATE: That's why there was a question mark on the headline (I'm never quite sure what to do with reports from Leatherpants) -- the Orioles' Andy MacPhail denied the Bowden report in an e-mail to MASN.com's Steve Melewski . "Report is not accurate," MacPhail said in the e-mail. Of course, it could just be a differing of opinion on what constitutes "close" or it could be that the Orioles haven't talked to Guerrero.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: December 23, 2010 5:04 pm
 

NL East tops, AL West last in spending

There's still a lot of offseason left, but with most of the big names off the board, the folks at mlbtraderumors.com have done some analysis on who's spending what this winter. The arms race is getting serious in the eastern divisions of both leagues, which lead the way, and the American League West is trailing by a lot.
Carl Crawford
* NL East: $60.29M average ($301.45M total)
* AL East: $55.22M average ($276.08M total)
* AL Central: $48.82M average ($244.1M total)
* NL West: $38.71M average ($193.53M total)
* NL Central: $22.46M average ($134.76M total)
* AL West: $14.78M average ($59.1M total)

A few other notes to come out of the MLBTR analysis (you can see the complete breakdown here ):

* The low AL West number is not for a lack of trying. The Angels and Rangers have had some high-profile targets, but haven't gotten anything done. Adrian Beltre, of interest to both teams, could change that number considerably.

* If someone would have told you two months ago the Yankees wouldn't be in the Top 5 in spending at this point, would you have believed it?

* Pretty surprising to see the Mets, Braves, Jays and Rangers in the bottom 10. Also surpising to see the Nationals at No. 2 and the Reds, Rockies and Marlins in the top 12.

* Indians fans have to be rushing to the ticket windows with the team spending a whopping $1.3 million on Austin Kearns, eh?

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 2, 2010 1:22 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:06 pm
 

Jays get permission to interview Roenicke

Ron Roenicke The Blue Jays have received permission to interview Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke for their managerial position, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes . Cito Gaston is retiring after the season.

Toronto has also received permission to interview Rockies bench coach Don Baylor and have interviewed former Diamondbacks and Indians manager Eric Wedge. Plunkett reporters former Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel, Yankees coach Rob Thompson and Jays coach Brian Butterfield are also candidates.

Roenicke served as the team's first base coach before moving to bench coach when Joe Maddon was hired as Tampa's manager. Roenicke interviewed with the Indians last fall.

Roenicke's nephew, Josh, is a reliever with the Blue Jays.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:40 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 11:41 pm
 

Rzepczynski mows down Yankees

Marc Rzepczynski
When you hear that Marc Rzepczynski "struck out eight Yankees in a row," it definitely gets a wow. But there's a qualifier that takes a bit of the luster off the feat.

What the Jays left-hander actually did was record eight consecutive outs via strikeout. There were back-to-back singles in the middle of the run.

Still, it was an impressive accomplishment -- especially since the first seven of the eight were swinging strikeouts. Rzepczynski got Alex Rodriguez to end the first inning, struck out the side sandwiched against the two singles in the second, then struck out three in order in the third and struck out Rodriguez again looking to start the fourth. Robinson Cano ended the streak when he flied out, but Rzepczynski came back to get Marcus Thames swinging to end the inning.

(An aside: Did Rzepczynski's parents really have to name him Marc with the alternative spelling? Isn't it tough enough that the kid was going to have an alphabet-soup last name, without making sure he would have to go through life spelling his first name for everyone, too?)

His six consecutive strikeouts tied Ted Lilly's Blue Jays record, set in 2004. His nine in the game, which he won while giving up two earned runs over five innings, matched a career high.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 5:10 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2010 8:10 pm
 

Jays lose third baseman Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion Toronto third baseman Edwin Encarnacion sprained his left wrist on a swing during Saturday's win over the Tigers, and after the game was placed on the disabled list. Mike McCoy was recalled to take his roster spot.

Major-league home run leader Jose Bautista has played 35 games at third this season, but manager Cito Gaston said he didn't want to shift Bautista from right field to fill in for Encarnacion and that John McDonald will get most of the playing time.

Encarnacion is Toronto's nine-hole hitter and is batting .245 (though he'd been hitting better in August), so this injury doesn't have a big impact on the Jays' offense.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 2, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2010 2:33 am
 

Jays place Marcum on DL

Shaun Marcum Shaun Marcum's comeback story is taking a little detour.

The Toronto right-hander had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in 2008 and missed the entire 2009 season. This year he was the Jays' opening day starter, the first pitcher other than Roy Halladay to land that assignment since 2003.

Marcum has not only returned to action but been used heavily, sharing the American League lead with 17 starts (7-4, 3.44 ERA) and throwing 107 innings. He had a rough outing in his start Thursday, and Friday the Jays announced he was going on the disabled list with inflammation in his elbow.

General manager Alex Anthropoulos downplayed the seriousness of the problem and said the Jays are only using the disabled list to take advantage of the All-Star break. Marcum will miss only one start.

"Like I told Shaun, and I told him this in Spring Training, too, I said, 'Look, we're going to be overly cautious with you," Anthropoulos told MLB.com. "You know how important you are and you know how good you are." 

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follw @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com